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Halo 4 – My Thoughts So Far

December 15, 2012

After being released over a month ago, I finally get my hands on the much anticipated Halo 4. I’ve only had limited time and exploration with Halo 4 at this point, so everything that I will talk about will be based off my limited experience.

It took a moment for me to get over the news that Bungie was no longer dealing with the Halo franchise and that 343i was taking over. And with the news of Halo 4 in the works, I admit that I was a little worried about the outcome of the game. Usually when a different game developer takes over a game, it’s never the same and it was the same fear I had with Halo 4.

Now, that I have played Halo 4, how does the overall experience that 343i measure up to that we all were used to experience with Bungie’s work of Halo: Combat Evolved and on up to Halo Reach? Well, overall, I have the say that I am impressed with the job that 343i did. 343i definitely went above expectations in my opinion. To be honest, if you didn’t know any better, you would think game developer never changed. The game play for the most part still feels the same and the graphics are on point as expected. The campaign mode was a little shorter than I would have like, but it’s no big deal. I guess Infinity mode’s Spartan Ops make up for the short campaign.

For those wondering, the best way I can describe Spartan Ops is that it’s make Firefight with campaign-like objectives. I thought it was a good idea on 343i’s part to add this new feature to the franchise. It makes for a nice change.

Now, there are some minor differences within the game. For each individual, the differences can be a good thing or a bad thing. The single player experiences within Halo 4 seems much easier than previous Halo games. At first, I thought the ease of the game was due to my overall Halo experience over the last eleven years. Then I got to thinking, that can’t be the case, because even today, I still can’t avoid projectiles as easy as I can in Halo 4. Yes, the shots fired in the game seems a lot easier to dodge, unless you’re getting shot at by swarms of Covenant enemies. Also the Elites seem easier to kill as well. They don’t evade as much as they did in previous games and their shields seem seem to drain quicker and stay down a little longer, allowing for a greater chance of making that kill shot on them. Basically, the enemy seems slower in movement and in shooting. Now, if you like going through Halo games with little trouble, then this is no big deal. Now, if you like a little challenge, then you may be in for a let down. Luckily, there adjustable difficulty settings and skulls to go with it, if you need the challenge.

Then you have the weapons. In past Halos, in was nothing to run around with a full charged plasma pistol and take out about fifty to sixty enemies. In Halo 4, the plasma pistol’s charge diminishes fast. You would be lucky to get twenty kills with a full charge. Most of the Promethean weapons simply remind you of UNSC weapons with larger ammo capacity.

There are a lot of things to unlock in Halo 4 and if you want them, then you have to keep playing. This is actually good, since I give gamers a reason to play Halo 4 for a while, considering there are a lot of cool items and features to unlock.

Overall, 343i didn’t let me down. I now feel confident that 343i will continue to do a great job as they continue to work on the rest of the new Halo trilogy.

 

 

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Connecticut School Shooting

December 15, 2012

Today was the first time I had shed a tear or two in a long, long time. The results of today’s mass shooting at an elementary school was the cause of those tears. My emotions are of sorrow and anger at the same time.

The sorrow comes from that of not just only innocent lives, but children less than ten years of age. How can someone take the lives of several kids? What did the kids do to warrant such an awful act? My heart and prayers go out to the victims and their families of the shooting.

The anger side is cause by the fact that too many of these shootings are happening in recent time and they are more and more frequent it seems. After today’s event, something has to give. I’m not quite sure what that something should be, but the shootings need to stop or at least show some effort in trying to discourage such acts in the future.

Well, I hope the deaths in today’s shooting lead to a start of fighting back against such horrible act of violence. Increasing security in ALL schools would be a decent start. Perhaps, making ammunition more difficult to get would be another solution. Whatever the solution, I just simply hope the nation see something done.

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Mayweather? Pacquiao? Who Wins?

May 10, 2012

I hear the same question constantly from friends when it comes to boxing over the last 12-18 months. Who would win if Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Pacquiao were to get into the squared-circle?

First, before any of us talk about who would win between the two, Mayweather and Pacquiao, we have to remember that there is a bout coming up in the second weekend in June which features Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley facing each other. That right, Pacquaio must first get pass the undefeated Bradley, who is hungry and I believe most fans are sleeping on Bradley. I’m not saying that Bradley is going to win, but many may not won’t to easily rule Bradley out. If Bradley shocks the boing world and beats Pacquiao then all this Mayweather-Pacquiao talk will be irrelevant.

Now, on to the subject at hand. This is what I think assuming Pacquiao even gets by Bradley:

Prior to Pacquiao’s past November bout with rival, Juan Manuel Marquez, it was tough to decide who would win between Mayweather and Pacquiao. Both men have such contrasting styles, which could actually well against each other. After seeing Pacquiao in his latest performance with Marquez, I was pretty sure that Mayweather would school Pacquaio. Marquez’ style and countering ability gave Pacquiao issues, so I figured Mayweather being the best in the business at countering and being much quicker than Marquez, would give Pacquiao the same issues. At the same time, Pacquaio didn’t look motivated in the fight with Marquez.

Then we all just witnessed Mayweather’s latest fight with Miguel Cotto and I have to say that it changed my thoughts somewhat on who I think would win, if Mayweather and Pacquiao squared off. Despite winning convincingly, Mayweather did look a little slower and older, which is to be expected as an athlete hits the mid 30s of age. Anyway, I could help but think that if a Manny Pacquiao of the pre-Marquez fight was in the ring against Mayweather instead of Cotto, that the outcome may have turned out differently in favor of Pacquiao. Once again, this is assuming if this was the Pacquiao of before the third fight with Marquez.

So, who wins if the two guys meet up? I still can’t give a definitive answer. It just basically depends on which fighter is more into the fight mentally and physically. I feel if we see the same Pacquiao that we saw in the ring with Marquez, then Mayweather will pick him apart. At the same time though, if Mayweather show signs of slowing down just slightly, a motivated Pacquiao could do the job that Cotto came short in.

Once again, I still do know who would win. Perhaps, I will be able a speak more on the subject after Pacquaio gets a taste of Bradley.

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Live!

October 25, 2011

This message goes out to all of you. Live your life. Enjoy your life. Enjoy it to its fullest.

There’s no bad situation worth killing yourself over. Death will definitely come to us all. There’s no need in rushing death. No matter how bad things get for you, if you’re able to wake up each day during bad times, you give yourself opportunity to improve on the situation. Some situations you may have to go out and handle yourself and some may require a little help. Regardless, you fight to live on. Don’t quit and end it on bad note.

Most if not all of us have been through hard times, including myself. I know what it is like to experience rough situations and have things get worse during those times. Instead of quitting, by ending life, I fight through it knowing things will get better. You just have to believe. Though it seem things wasn’t going to get better and kept fighting and eventually the bad situation ends. Through the fight, my life actually becomes better than it was before things went downhill. So the fight to live is well worth it.

So basically no matter how things are going, whether good or bad, keep living. Life is precious.

I did this blog, because I walk into work this morning and the very first thing I hear was news of a suicude death of a co-worker.

Live people! Live!!

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My Experience of NCAA Football 12 and Madden NFL 12

September 29, 2011

This is basically a revisit to my previous blog of this subject, “My Thoughts on NCAA Football 12 and Madden NFL 12″.

I’ve been spending time lately enjoying the time consuming features and plays Dynasty Mode and Franchise Mode of NCAA 12 and NFL 12, respectively. It’s where I spend more than two-thirds of my time on both games. Anyway, after spending a couple of weeks on these two games, I had finally finished a full season to each game. With me being ready for season two in Madden, I go through the preseason events and then import the players I had from NCAA. As I go through the scouting in Madden, I realize something and starting thinking, “Wait a minute!! These are not the guys I imported from the NCAA roster”.

When I first noticed this, I was very upset and disappointed. Just when I thought the developers finally produced the most complete and near flawless Madden ever, they mess up one of the biggest features to Dynasty/Franchise Mode, which is the ability to import players from one game to another.

Well, don’t worry. The issue is a minor flaw that I’m guessing is more on the part of NCAA rather than Madden. You maybe asking, how is this considered a minor issue, instead of a major one? Well, the issue is something that can be corrected or fix within the NCAA game itself. So in a way, it’s not really a big flaw, just a prolong in time issue… perhaps a minute or two.

To actually import your NCAA roster to Madden, do not export the players right away, after the season ends. You’ll be asked if you want to export the roster after the season and when it happens, just select “No”. You will then progress through coach signings and players leaving. Afterwards, you will be asked once more to export your roster. It’s during the second asking, you want to actually do the export on. When you get to the regular season scouting of Madden, you will then see the players you imported from NCAA. Problem solved.

Thanks for reading.

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My Thoughts On NCAA Football 12 and Madden 12

September 7, 2011

Since the arrival of XBox 360 and Playstation 3, the NCAA series has been fairly solid at least. The same can’t be said for the Madden series. Madden took a turn for the worse when it came to the 3rd generation consoles. The 2nd generation consoles (PS2 and original XBox) version of Madden had more features than the 3rd gen-version.

For 2011, it seems EA Sports took something that was already fairly solid and made it into something amazing beyond belief. The game play is good as always and dynasty mode even better than before. All the features are still intact from previous versions of the game, plus a couple of added features, which makes you feel like you’re part the NCAA committee.

Now on to Madden 12. Finally, it seems EA Sports listened to the consumers. The game play for Madden is just as good as NCAA, which is a definitely plus, considering in my opinion, I always thought NCAA had a slight edge over Madden over the last several years. Franchise mode has improved a lot from the previous versions, probably making it the best Madden since it has been on 3rd gen-consoles. With so many new features, you basically feel like a commissioner. Franchise Mode is very detailed and there are a lot of things to do in it. The number of new features on the game are countless. Even Owner Mode is back from the Madden 2004 days.

For those who have been holding out on buying Madden/NCAA games, due to them basically being the same each year, I would definitely recommend purchasing these two versions.

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XBox Live Schedule

August 10, 2011

I was sitting here bored and trying to find something to do, when I decided I will just talk about my available schedule for online time on XBox Live gaming. Besides, I need to do some more blogging to help add to my blog page.

Due to the work schedule between myself and my girlfriend, I’m almost guaranteed some sort of playing time each weekday. I’m usually home at least two and a half hours before her, assuming I’m coming straight home from work. Anyway, enough about that… here is my Live time below.

Note: All times are Central Standard Time zone

Monday: 3:00pm – 10:00pm
Tuesday: 3:00pm – 10:00pm
Wednesday: 3:00pm – 6:00pm
Thursday: 3:00pm – 7:30pm
Friday: *3:00 – varies
Saturday: various time, off and on
Sunday: various time, off and on

*Fridays are a little funny, because I get paid every other one of them, so there’s the issue of getting my check deposit, which can only be done after a certain time on Fridays. Also, this is the one day of the week in which my girlfriend is actually home before me, so there are times in which she may plan something before I’ve even gotten off work.

Anyway, there you have it. Those are my times of availability during the week. Of course there will be times in which I maybe doing house chores in between. Also, with the times that are posted, give or take approximately twenty minutes.

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